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  • Greener?

    For the last six years I have hardly sent any rubbish to landfill because I was fortunate enough to live in an area with excellent kerbside recycling and only about a mile from the cleanest,shiniest 'tip' I have ever encountered where I could recycle almost anything.  With an array of coloured boxes, bins and bags, North West Leicestershire is among the nation's best councils in this respect - just before I left Dibley I noticed a sign at the tip saying recycling was now at 66% and the target was being raised higher.

    So, I habitually sort plastic, cans, paper, card and glass (and used to do garden waste too) but now have no bags/bins to put it in.  I have just found out where the nearest recycling centre is (and on the web it looks very smart) and do appreciate why in a city such as this the kerbside method has major challenges to overcome, but above all have realised just how much packaging there is when, after two weeks my little kitchen is piled high with plastic, card and metal just waiting for me to recycle it.  So just how long to I wait before I drive to the recycling centre so that I don't undo the 'greenness' of collecting this stuff?

  • Observations and Comments

    Yesterday I attended a funeral at the local crematorium.  It was a well crafted, warm and, I am sure, helpful service in which a life was celebrated and hope and assurance given.  It was also a valuable learning experience in terms of discovering some of the local funeral customs which differ from practices 'down south.'  Everywhere I have lived or worked there have been variations in the customs, and everywhere I've lived or worked people have assumed everyone does what they do.  All of which makes me wonder what kind of continuum or discontuities there might be in customs as one moves around Britain, never mind the world.  And just what is 'normal'?

    I also realised just what a crematorium snob I have become over the years, and wish that architects would consult with those who conduct the services when they deisgn new crematoria.  To be fair, this was quite an old chapel, reflecting a very different age, and a lot of work had been done to make it light and airy with some lovely stained glass behind the catafalque.  It just wasn't an ideal layout and the 'flow' was at best slightly odd with potential for funeral parties to get tangled up on a busy day.

    For me though, the most odd and slightly discomfitting aspect of the venue was the location of a small Jewish burial area immediately behind the crematorium chapels.  I assume the Jewish community have found their ways of living with this, but it just seemed odd, and somehow wrong that a faith for which cremation is anathema would have its burial ground cheek by jowl with a crematorium.

    And then I wondered what people would make of what I think of as normal and appropriate and 'right.'  Plenty of food for thought.

  • Prophetic Community, Good or Bad?

    So, I'm thinking aoubt Sunday and chasing around the Bible looking at prophets great and small, true and false.  One thing that has struck me is that the communities of prophets tend to be the 'baddies', the false prophets who tell kings what they want to hear or prophets of false deities like Baal.  The 'prophetic community' concept is not leaping out at me as something that is inherently good.  Which is interesting because the Baptist union(s) clearly think it is good.  I suspect it is partly about the distinction between 'prophet' amd 'prophetic' but the study guide centres on individual prophets as models.  I have a few ideas of where I want to go, but am challenged afresh to consider just what a 'good' prophetic community might look like.

  • Would You Adam and Eve it? Cor Blimey Guv I need a translation

    On the radio this morning an item was read out about a translation company in London that is advertising for translators who speak Glaswegian to help out their business customers.  Evidently Scouse and Geordie may follow... Bloomin' cheek!  Sounds like London-centricity gone mad to me.  Away an boil yer heid!

  • Only in Britain

    On Sunday afternoon, between the two services, I went to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum to see one of my all time favourite paintings - a kind of homage/pilgrimage visit I guess - to see Dali's Christ of St John of the Cross.  As a child it was the first religious painting that captured my imagination, almost chanced upon as,on a rare visit to Glasgow to see my grandparents, we visited the museum and there it hung, splendid and awe inspiring.  I last saw it a few years back when it was temporarily housed at the St Mungo museum of religious art.  On Sunday I was very disappointed to discover it relegated to a dingy corner, poorly lit and missed by many people on their way to see other things.  Only in Britain...

    Other more amusing and curiously British aspects of the experience were some of the curious and crazy juxtapositions.  Seemingly inches above the heads of stuffed African animals hung a Spitfire - something really bizarre about a giraffe able to eye-ball the (invisible) pilot of a war plane.  In the main atrium children built daleks from k'nex whilst overhead the mighty organ boomed out a free recital to people sipping coffee from paper cups in the coffee shop bit.  There was something delightfully irreverent and comical and curious and fun about the whole experience.  Something that you probably have to be British to 'get.'

    I wish the Dali was better located, but maybe, just maybe, there is an important irony that on a Sunday afternoon when people enjoy the melee of music and natural history and science fiction and valuable art that Jesus sneaks into a corner almost unobserved...?